bacon

Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts

Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts

Bacon-wrapped water chestnuts are always a big hit when I make them. People can’t seem to get enough of them. The combination of salty and sweet, with the smokiness of the bacon, a little heat, and the crunch of the water chestnuts is a flavor explosion.

When I make them for parties, everyone loves them. OK, not my vegetarian friends, but everyone else does. There are never any leftovers.

What is it about the smell of bacon cooking? Maybe for you, like me, it is a childhood memory. We never had bacon for breakfast during the week. Not even every weekend. But on some magical Sunday mornings, I would wake up and smell bacon cooking. No one slept in on those mornings. Mom or dad would be frying the bacon in the cast iron skillet. If we had pancakes or waffles, I would dip my bacon in the syrup on my plate.

This recipe combines some of those flavors. You can assemble them ahead of time, then just cook when you are ready. You can also cook them a day or two ahead, then reheat before serving. I have even been known to freeze them. They are easy to make, too.

So here is the recipe that I use. You can adapt it to suit your taste. Perhaps make them spicier? I hope you try them for a party soon.

Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts

20 slices bacon, cut in half

40 water chestnuts, whole

Hot sauce

Maple syrup

Brown sugar

Roll ½ a slice of bacon around water chestnut and place rolls in a baking dish. Make sure the edge of the bacon is on the bottom, so it stays in place. It will save you from having to put a toothpick in each one. Cook in a 400-degree oven for 20 minutes or until rolls are well-browned. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Return rolls to baking dish. Drizzle with maple syrup and sprinkle with brown sugar and hot sauce. Return to oven and bake until caramelized, about 10 minutes. Makes 40.

Bacon, Shrimp and Corn Chowder

Bacon, Corn and Shrimp Chowder

I love the combination of shrimp and bacon. When I was looking for a quick dinner for today, I knew I would be using them together. It is a chilly day, so I decided to go with a chowder.

I rooted around my fridge and pantry for the ingredients and ended up with a very satisfying meal.

Some of my favorite dinners have happened by accident. Just looking at what I have on hand, and creating something tasty with it.

Bacon, Shrimp and Corn Chowder

6 thick slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 onion, sliced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1½ c. chicken stock
1 can cream corn*
½ c. corn- fresh or frozen_ I had sweet corn frozen from last summer
1½ c. half and half
½ c. chopped fresh parsley
12 oz. raw shrimp, peeled and de-veined
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Dash of hot sauce

In soup pot, cook bacon until almost done. Add onion and continue cooking until onion is cooked. Spoon out most of the bacon fat. Add the carrots, potatoes and stock and simmer, covered, until the veggies are tender, about 15 minutes. Add cream corn, corn and half and half and bring up to a simmer. Add parsley and simmer, covered, 10 minutes. Add shrimp and cook another 5 minutes or until shrimp is just cooked. Adjust seasonings and serve. Serves 3-4.

*I decided to use a can of cream corn as the base. When I was a kid my Mother would make me something she called cream corn soup. She rarely used prepackaged foods and made wonderful homemade soups all the time. I think it was on one of those days when she was just really busy. To make her cream corn soup she would empty the can of corn into a saucepan. Then she filled the can with milk and added that, too. A little salt and pepper and the soup was done. Just before serving she’d put a small pat of butter in the soup. As a kid I just loved it. I must admit I don’t eat cream corn soup anymore, but as a base, the cream corn can really make a nice chowder.

Candied Bacon

Candied Bacon

This candied bacon only has three ingredients- bacon, maple syrup and chopped nuts. The combination in sublime. Salty, sweet, smoky all in one crunchy bite. Friends and family love it!! Nice for dad on Father’s Day.

The bacon is baked, then coated with maple syrup and chopped nuts. It is returned to the oven, where it bakes until the bacon is crisp and the coating it toasted, almost caramelized. It gets crisper once it cools down.

You can make a spicier version by sprinkling with a little cayenne pepper or adding hot sauce to the maple syrup.

Candied Bacon

1 lb bacon
3/4 c – 1 c maple syrup
3/4 c – 1 c crushed pecans (or any nuts you like! I like to leave some
larger pieces and then mix in some more finely ground)

Preheat oven to 350. Put bacon in baking pan and bake about halfway through (about 5-7 minutes or so). Drain most of the grease and allow to cool slightly. Coat each piece in syrup, roll in nuts and put back on pan. You may need more nuts as you go along, though it’s up to you how much to cover them. Bake another 7-9 minutes, until desired crispness. If you do like crisper bacon, just be sure to move the cooked bacon quickly off the baking sheet onto parchment paper, since the syrup will harden. Allow longer cooking times with thicker bacon.

Bacon Waffles for Dad

Bacon Waffles

If you are looking for a special breakfast for Father’s Day, maybe dad would like some waffles. Even better, make him waffles with bacon inside them. Then serve your bacon waffles with extra bacon on the side!!!

For me, breakfast doesn’t get much better than waffles. Well, unless maybe you add bacon to the waffle batter.

Truth is, I don’t treat myself to waffles all that often, but if I am going to eat waffles, I go all out.

These are truly wonderful waffles. Light, crispy on the outside and studded with bacon. A drizzle of  warm maple syrup and you are good to go.

So, if you are looking for a special treat for dad for breakfast, or lunch, or dinner or a snack… try these bacon waffles. You can thank me later.

Bacon Waffles

1 pound sliced bacon
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, separated
1½ cups milk
¼ cup butter, melted
In a skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Drain; crumble and set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Beat egg yolks, milk and butter; stir into dry ingredients until smooth. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into batter. Add bacon. Before making each waffle, stir batter. Bake in a preheated waffle iron according to manufacturer’s directions until golden brown.

Bacon, Corn and Shrimp Chowder

Bacon, Corn and Shrimp Chowder

I love the combination of shrimp and bacon. When I was looking for a quick lunch for today, I knew I would be using them together. It is a chilly rainy day, so I decided to go with a chowder.

I rooted around my fridge and pantry for the ingredients and ended up with a very satisfying meal.

Some of my favorite dinners have happened by accident. Just looking at what I have on hand, and creating something tasty with it.

Bacon, Corn and Shrimp Chowder

6 thick slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 onion, sliced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1½ c. chicken stock
1 can cream corn*
½ c. corn- fresh or frozen_ I had sweet corn frozen from last summer
1½ c. half and half
½ c. chopped fresh parsley
12 oz. raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Dash of hot sauce

In soup pot, cook bacon until almost done. Add onion and continue cooking until onion is cooked. Spoon out most of the bacon fat. Add the carrots, potatoes and stock and simmer, covered, until the veggies are tender. Add cream corn, corn and half and half and bring up to a simmer. Add parsley and simmer, covered, 10 minutes. Add shrimp and cook another 5 minutes or until shrimp is just cooked. Adjust seasonings and serve. Serves 3-4.

*I decided to use a can of cream corn as the base. When I was a kid my Mother would make me something she called cream corn soup. She rarely used prepackaged foods and made wonderful homemade soups all the time. I think it was on one of those days when she was just really busy. To make her cream corn soup she would empty the can of corn into a saucepan. Then she filled the can with milk and added that, too. A little salt and pepper and the soup was done. Just before serving she’d put a small pat of butter in the soup. As a kid I just loved it. I must admit I don’t eat cream corn soup anymore, but as a base, the cream corn can really make a nice chowder.

Bacon Waffles for Dad

Bacon Waffles

If you are looking for a special breakfast for Father’s Day, maybe dad would like some waffles. Even better, make him waffles with bacon inside them. Then serve your bacon waffles with extra bacon on the side!!!

For me, breakfast doesn’t get much better than waffles. Well, unless maybe you add bacon to the waffle batter.

Truth is, I don’t treat myself to waffles all that often, but if I am going to eat waffles, I go all out.

These are truly wonderful waffles. Light, crispy on the outside and studded with bacon. A drizzle of  warm maple syrup and you are good to go.

So, if you are looking for a special treat for dad for breakfast, or lunch, or dinner or a snack… try these bacon waffles. You can thank me later.

Bacon Waffles

1 pound sliced bacon
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, separated
1½ cups milk
¼ cup butter, melted
In a skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Drain; crumble and set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Beat egg yolks, milk and butter; stir into dry ingredients until smooth. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into batter. Add bacon. Before making each waffle, stir batter. Bake in a preheated waffle iron according to manufacturer’s directions until golden brown.

Bacon, Spinach and Mushroom Quiche

Bacon, Spinach and Mushroom Quiche

There seems to be an almost endless number of fillings for quiche. My most recent combination of bacon, spinach and mushrooms might be a new favorite. I think what made this one special is that I cooked the mushrooms in the bacon fat, after cooking the bacon. It really infused the whole quiche with that wonderful, smoky bacon flavor.

I defrosted a package of frozen spinach, but didn’t use all of it in the quiche. Not sure why not, but I would use it all the next time.

I baked my bacon and the mushrooms, but you can cook them both in a skillet, if you prefer. I had just washed my stove and didn’t want to get it dirty. Plus, I really like to bake bacon.

Here is the recipe. Enjoy.

Bacon, Spinach and Mushroom Quiche

1 unbaked pie crust – enough for a deep dish pie

4 oz. diced or shredded cheese – I like a sharp cheddar

2 T. flour

½ lb. bacon

1½ cup sliced fresh mushrooms

1 (10oz.) package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

1 c. milk or half and half

3 eggs, beaten

2 T. fresh chopped parsley

Hot pepper sauce to taste

salt and pepper to taste

Place bacon slices on a jelly roll pan and bake in a 350-degree oven until crisp, about 15 minutes. Remove bacon from pan and drain on paper towels. Place the mushrooms in the same pan you just cooked the bacon in and return to the oven. Cook about 15-20 minutes, or until mushrooms are cooked and even a little brown. Drain mushrooms on paper towels. Turn oven up to 400 degrees.  

While mushrooms are cooking, crumble bacon. Start to prep quiche while mushrooms cook. In 9-inch (deep dish) pie pan place the crust. Toss cheese with the flour and place in crust. Add the bacon and spinach to the crust. Add the mushrooms. Combine milk with the eggs and add seasonings to taste. Pour over the bacon-spinach mixture. Place pan on a baking sheet to collect any drips and place in a preheated 400 degree oven. Bake for 30 minutes then turn down oven to 325 and continue baking until quiche is firm near the middle, about 25-30 minutes more. To test for “doneness” insert a butter knife about an inch from the center of the quiche. If it comes out clean, the quiche is done. Serves 4-6. Freezes well.

Bacon, spinach and mushroom quiche

Bacon Waffles for Dad

Bacon Waffles

If you are looking for a special breakfast for Father’s Day, maybe dad would like some waffles. Even better, make him waffles with bacon inside them. Then serve your bacon waffles with extra bacon on the side!!!

For me, breakfast doesn’t get much better than waffles. Well, unless maybe you add bacon to the waffle batter.

Truth is, I don’t treat myself to waffles all that often, but if I am going to eat waffles, I go all out.

These are truly wonderful waffles. Light, crispy on the outside and studded with bacon. A drizzle of  warm maple syrup and you are good to go.

So, if you are looking for a special treat for dad for breakfast, or lunch, or dinner or a snack… try these bacon waffles. You can thank me later.

Bacon Waffles

1 pound sliced bacon
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, separated
1½ cups milk
¼ cup butter, melted
In a skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Drain; crumble and set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Beat egg yolks, milk and butter; stir into dry ingredients until smooth. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into batter. Add bacon. Before making each waffle, stir batter. Bake in a preheated waffle iron according to manufacturer’s directions until golden brown.

Smoky Corn Chowder

Smoky Corn Chowder

 I was defrosting my freezer and found local sweet corn I had frozen last summer. I had forgotten all about it. I wanted to make soup for a dinner with friends, so I decided to use the frozen corn to make this chowder. I also had a pound of bacon, which gave the soup a wonderful smoky flavor. I cooked the bacon in the soup pot, allowing it to get pretty crisp. I removed as much of the fat as I could, but left the bacon in the pot. Then, when I cooked the onions and added the stock, all the little brown bits of bacon in the pot added even more flavor. It was a big hit. A perfect dish for a snowy evening.

Smoky Corn Chowder

1 lb. bacon

1 onion, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and sliced

6 c. chicken stock

2 potatoes, peeled and cubed

6 c. corn – I used frozen corn

2 cups half and half or milk

¼ c. flour

Salt and pepper to taste

Hot sauce to taste

Fresh chopped parsley

 

Cut bacon in 1-inch pieces and fry in a Dutch oven until crisp. Tip pot and spoon out most of the fat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add carrots and stock. Cover and simmer 10 minutes, then add the potatoes and corn. Cover and simmer 15-20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. In jar with a tight fitting lid, combine 1 cup of the half and half or milk with the flour. Put on the lid and shake until mixture is smooth.  Stir into the pot along with the remaining half and half or milk and cook, stirring often until mixture thickens up. Adjust seasoning to taste. Stir in parsley and serve.  Serves 6.

 

Maple-Glazed Apple Bacon Fritters

Maple-Glazed Apple and Bacon Fritters

Maple-Glazed Apple and Bacon Fritters

This time of year, with apples in season, it is fun to use them in all sorts of recipes. I’ve made an assortment of both sweet and savory dishes with them. This is one of my favorites. What could be better than combining apples with bacon in a sweet treat? The sweetness of the apples pairs so well with the smoky/saltiness of the bacon.

Fritters aren’t difficult to make. They really don’t take that long to make, either. I prefer to make them close to when I am serving them- so my guests can enjoy them warm.

They make a wonderful dessert, or a fun addition to a breakfast or brunch menu. I dipped them in the maple glaze, which also went well with the apples and bacon.

 

I must warn you, they are addictive.

 

 

 

Apple and Bacon Fritters

2 c. flour

2 T. sugar

2 T. baking powder

1/2 t. salt

1 c. milk

2 eggs, beaten

2 T. melted butter

1 c. diced apples

1 c. cooked, crumbled bacon

oil for frying- I used coconut oil

Combine dry ingredients and set aside. Mix together milk with the eggs and butter. Stir in dry ingredients until just moistened and add the apples and bacon. Heat oil to 375. If using gluten free flour, heat oil to 350. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls into the hot oil and fry until golden brown. Don’t do more than 4-5 at a time. It will take about  4 minutes in total but you need to turn them to brown evenly so 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Dip in maple glaze (recipe follows) while warm. Makes about 32.

Maple Glaze

1 c. Powdered sugar

1/2 c. maple syrup

a little water if mixture gets too thick

Combine all ingredients and set aside until ready to use.

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